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Agency Needs Data on Spotted Owls

October 13, 2000|CATHERINE BLAKE

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is asking the public to help provide information regarding California spotted owls found in Ventura County.

The owl makes its home primarily in mountains with pine forests and is found in parts of Los Padres National Forest.

There are 1,800 to 3,600 California spotted owls in the Sierra Nevada, and an unknown number in Ventura County, according to the agency.

The bird's population has been dwindling for more than a decade, primarily because of loss of habitat from urbanization and wildfires.

"The thing the public can do to help is to pass along any information on the species, like what type of threats are out there," said Patricia Foulk, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

"If someone knows of a land use change, or a project that is planned where the owl lives we would like to know that."

By March, the department will have more information on whether it plans to list the species under the Endangered Species Act.

If the bird is designated as endangered or threatened, property owners would need to get permits from regulatory agencies before building in spotted owl habitat.

For more information, or to pass along information about the California spotted owl, call Foulk at (916) 414-6566.

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